tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 11, 2013 3:00am-4:00am EDT
get back to, not these 11th hour mickey mouse operations we're in right now. catch me tonight on "the tonight show" with jay leno. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes and we have a heck of a show for you tonight. because tonight, ten days into the government shutdown, a stunning new nbc/"wall street journal" poll shows approval ratings for the republican party at historic lows. and at this very moment, a little more than an hour after their meeting with president obama broke up with this definitive sign of a deal or any new path forward, gop staffers are huddling on capitol hill with plans to stay the night. house speaker john boehner's strategy of the day, as best we can tell, was to offer the white house a clean raise the debt ceiling for six weeks, in the beginning of formal budget negotiations, all while the
government would remain shutdown. today's strategy does not appear to be working. and now john boehner has to figure out what tomorrow's strategy is. put yourself in john boehner's shoes for a moment. imagine what it's like for him to wake up every morning and face the forces that are assembled against him. one simple goal. to survive another day. john boehner must find a way to placate the tea party, whose irate with any talk of negotiations not including obama care, the entirety of american finance capitalism, that has told him he cannot blow through the debt ceiling, and then there's the american people. according to a new nbc news poll, both the gop and the tea party's favorability rating that sunk to an all-time low. and 53% of americans blame republicans in congress for the budget standoff, compared to 31% who blame the president. with those three separate interests in mind, john
boehner's play is this. >> what we want to do is to offer the president today the ability to move. a temporary increase in the debt ceiling, an agreement to go to conference on the budget. >> far-right groups like heritage action are falling behind boehner's plan, but amazingly, this is a total reversal of his strategy to focus on the debt ceiling. importantly for boehner, however, the tea party gets to keep on trying to kill obama care. >> when it comes to the continuing resolution, when it comes to the issues dealing with obama care, we're going to continue to hold our ground. >> and just looking at the stock market, you can see the lords of finance are reassured. >> stocks taking off. the dow posting its biggest point gain of the yore. >> the markets are clearly sniffing a deal. >> the stock market is telling us in no uncertain terms that they believe this deal is a foregone conclusion. >> so the markets rally and the government remains closed indefinitely. because for the speaker of the
house, as long as the tea party and wall street are happy, he gets to survive another day. while the republican party burns to the ground and the american people are subjected to prolonged, unnecessary misery. >> i live paycheck-to-paycheck and i don't know what is going to happen. >> so i don't know what's going to happen on the 1st. >> as of today, i'm not going to be receiving my school benefits. and without that, that does not pay for me to go to school. >> i get wic and i get food stamps and it's going to be pretty tough. >> i already have enough guilt with the ptsd and things that i'm not over there and someone else is there in my place, and now i'm not being appreciated for what i have done, here. >> a white house statement characterized the meeting with house leadership as good, even though no specific determination was made on a path forward. president obama has repeatedly said he will entertain negotiations on anything, but only after the government is reopened. joining me now is congressman javier bacera. congressman, what's your
reaction to the news of the day, in which the gop has issued this six-week clean debt ceiling while the government stays shutdown and no word out of the house leadership what the status of that offer is. >> chris, i think we've been watching this movie for three years now, and it doesn't have a good ending anytime. so we need to change the video. it's time to do something different and it's time for us to get to work and do our job. we didn't get elected to shut down government. we didn't get elected to put 800,000 americans out of work. and we certainly didn't get elected to run the economy down in the ground at a time when it was finally recovering. so i think, chris, our republican colleagues should know that this is a time now to stop the game playing and get to it. >> i want to be clear on the position of the house democratic leadership. what is the position of the house democratic leadership with respect to a proposal in which the debt ceiling would be raised
and that vote would be in the house, talks would initiate on the budget, while the government would stay shutdown, and all the misery and cascading problems that emanate from that would continue. what is the position of the house democratic leadership on that proposal? >> well, first, chris, we've not seen that proposal. because the republicans have only talked about a proposal. and who knows exactly what went down in the white house. what we do know is this. the republicans did not offer the president a proposal that would put americans back to work, and that would guarantee that our economy would not slip into recession. and so, because we don't have that, i'm not sure if the republicans are going to put anything in writing. what democrats have always said, and there are 200 democrats ready to vote for a clean budget that lets us reopen our government and put americans back to work. and we're ready to make sure that we don't default on our past debts. we're not talking about future spending. we're talking about the spending that republicans and republicans voted for to now pay for that. we need to make sure we continue forward and we're ready to sit down and talk, as we always have
been, about all those issues that we have to deal with to have a fiscally responsible government. >> congressman, you're a veteran of politics. you know your way around this game. have you ever seen an unforced error, a willing self-immolation, like what the house republican caucus has done over the last two weeks? it is astonishing. >> i've never witnessed this. and quite honestly, chris, what we're seeing is, a family feud that's extremely intense in the republican party, where the right and the far right are going at it. and of course, the victims of all of this are the 800,000 plus americans who can't go to work tomorrow. an economy that's recovering, but who knows. will interests hike is up because of the way the republicans are treating the economy? let's put it this way, we talk about banana republics as if those are the kind of governments we never want to have. i think republicans are acting like they're part of a banana republic and they're treat america as if it's some second class country.
>> yeah, and you know what, i wonder if this -- if you worry, as a member of congress, a lot of the anger right now, the polling that we have out at nbc/"wall street journal" tonight shows that the republicans are bearing the lion's share of the blame. record disapproval of the tea party, huge margins that disapprove of their handling of this, 70% of poll respondents think they're playing politics. and yet, you as a member of congress, are tainted by this. if you go and talk to people in diners and gas stops and subway stations, people are saying this congress, congress, the government. do you feel like you are being tainted by this? is it destroying the reputation of the institution? >> oh, no doubt. and i can understand the public's anger. a pox on all of us. they just want us to get our work done. i wish we could have them discern who's really shutting down government, who's risking the economy, and who's not. but, again, i can't blame them, because we're all part of the same place. just like car salesman, some of the priests in the catholic
church, everyone got tainted. and that broad brush is striking all of those of us who are in elected office. and that's why we had to push to get this done. and perhaps the most disappointing thing here, chris, is those republicans who say they're ready to vote for a clean bill to fund the government to get americans back to work, but they don't come forward. and that's the most discouraging part of this. >> it's cowardice. >> we know they're there, they're just not coming out. >> congressman behavier becerra, thanks so much for your time. joining me now, ryan grimm. take me through the latest here. we had a very bizarre scene after that white house meeting. there were no formal press statements by any of the parties. the house speaker, john boehner, skedaddled out of there. there was briefly a "new york times" report that the white house had rejected the offer out of hand, which sent everyone scrambling, sent futures markets and foreign stock exchanges nosediving. and now that looks like it's been retracted. so where are we right now? >> the amount of money that changed hands globally as a
response to that "new york times" breaking alert, you know, must be in the billions. you know, it was walked back maybe 15 minutes to a half an hour later, but you're right, it was kind of a surreal moment, and what we've learned that came out of the meeting is that they're going to keep talking. like you said, republicans are going to work through the night. but they're now focused on handling the debt ceiling. but think about where that puts them. so they had two issues that they could deal with. they could deal with the government shutting down, which is hurting people all across the country, or they could deal with a debt ceiling, which is very much perceived as a wall street kind of global elite issues. republicans are jumping and handling that, while letting the government shutdown you know, conceivably, through thanksgiving. >> oh, there is no better illustration of the mechanisms of power within the american government and the republican party than what pressure was brought to bear. and who is powerful in this country. the women --
>> and that's potential harm that hasn't even been done yet. there is actual harm being done to millions of people a day. and that wasn't enough to change it. >> here's a question to you. what do you think, from your reporting, what is the feeling of harry reid, the senate democratic leadership, which is the key player in this, and the white house, about this idea that you just keep the government shutdown, but past this debt ceiling increase, because that essentially is some sop that cuts you off from the potential worst cataclysm, but you are then negotiating with the government still shutdown, which the president has reiterated, he does not want to do. >> this is one of the most fascinating and least-told parts of this story, is that the relationship between john boehner and harry reid and also, importantly, between john boehner's staff and harry reid's staff, is at an absolute low. they despise each other, personally. they don't trust each other. you know, they were sniping at each other in the press recently.
so they're not working together. you know, they're talking to other people to let each other know what they're going to do. now, if the house passes a clean, six-week bill through their chamber, i don't think the senate can allow the government to default, because they're angry at the house. but, you know, harry reid had a pretty funny remark today. he said, look, he basically said, look, i'm going to wait until the house produces something. he said, when i woke up, they had three different plans. i've been at the white house for two hours and on the way back, they might have come up with a few more. >> and here's the -- if a debt ceiling passes in the house and gets passed in the senate, you take that off the board. here's harry reid talking about any conversation happening while the government's still closed. take a listen. >> open the government, let us pay our bills, we'll negotiate with you about anything. >> they want to negotiate for you -- >> not going to happen. >> is that the white house's
position? >> that is -- i mean, it depends on what you mean by negotiating. i mean, they were sitting at a table this evening -- >> right, that's right. >> -- talking about stuff. >> well, they were talking about talking. i think that was pre-negotiation. msnbc contributor ryan grim, thanks for your time. joining me now is james pethokoukis, with the american enterprise institute, a cnbc contributor and someone i read regularly. a great pleasure to have you on the show, james. well, you've been a critic of this strategy, from the very beginning. and i have to say the polling out tonight is pretty remarkable. and what's remarkable about it is, you have the following. three months of everyone who's anyone in the gop center right establishment say, this is political suicide, please do not do this, this is dumb. and then the tea party went ahead and said, we're doing it. and lo and behold, look at the results. i'll read you some of these poll results. who do you think is more to blame for the shutdown, president obama, 31%, republicans in congress, 53%. 27% believe they are
demonstrating strong leadership. 70% put their own political agenda ahead of what is good for the country. do you want to scream, "i told you so"? >> if i could take that just one step further. we got those really just dreadful poll results out, and if you listen to what some of the house members, who left that meeting with the president, what they said, the only thing i can conclude is, one, obama care is more or less off the table. any of these negotiations, because they didn't talk about it. and then, if you listen to representative lynn jenkins after that meeting, what she said was, listen, we all know the shutdown is causing a lot of pain out there. we like to get this thing ended as soon as possible, maybe monday. so, listen, they are running to reopen the government. it would be my expectation at some point next week, you're going to have republicans vote to extend the debt limit, you know, six weeks, and reopen the government. >> so you are saying right now, your prediction is just a complete -- is basically a
complete declaration, declaring complete, total, abject defeat and just passing a cr and debt ceiling hike and then just saying, okay, let's talk about the budget. >> i think that's exactly what's going to happen. so then they'll have their budget negotiations, which aren't going to go anywhere, because there's still huge disagreement -- >> that's right, because there's the same intractable problems you have with the super committee, the same intractable problems that couldn't be solved to save the nation from sequestration, they're still there. none of that has changed. but what has changed, i would like to get your thoughts on this, what kind of pressure do you think was brought to bear on the house republican leadership in the last 48 hours as more and more of their members started saying some truly daft and dafy things about the debt ceiling? >> you know what, you know, during the whole t.a.r.p. debate back in 2008, wall street kept calling hank paulson with the exact same message, this is a catastrophe, you need to do something.
the exact same message that's coming from wall street this time around. this is a catastrophe, you have to do something. and the interviews over the weekend, with some republican congressmen who said, listen, it's not that big a deal. listen, the debt default would actually bring stability. well, today, decisively, wall street rejected that argument. because when it looked like they were going to avoid a debt limit problem, the market went up 300 points. >> do you think there's a change in the shift of the balance of power here, between, you know, for lack of a better word, the wall street wing of the party and the kind of ted cruz, animated tea party caucus in the house? >> well, listen, i think the fact is that wall street has really had the facts on their side. >> that always helps in an argument. >> it really does. that the consequences, i know you've been highlighting some of the pain the shutdown has caused, but the consequences from a debt default would be far worse and they would be global. so that is a very powerful argument. >> of course, the problem from a messaging standpoint now that to
do this 180 and say, okay, let's get the debt ceiling out of our way and let's keep the government shutdown, is the point ryan grim made, and it's a point we're going to be making throughout the show, yes, i agree, i do not want us to reach the debt ceiling, it would be possibly catastrophic. but when wall street calls and says, don't do this, you answer the phone and don't do it. meanwhile, you've got the parks shut down, people kicked off wic, it's not a very good image to put forth to the gop. >> i think you saw that in the polls. and one thing representative jenkins said after she came out of that meeting was, we know there's a lot of pain. they're hearing it from their constituents. i know it's not the entire government, it's part of the government, but the republican congressmen are getting a lot of grief back home about it. >> james pethokoukis from the american enterprise institute, thanks a lot. >> thank you. coming up -- >> a special place with me, being connected so heavy in ag, still farming some. when i go home, i don't get to
do a lot of physical labor, but i'm still around and many, many friends and relative who is still farm. and it does have a special place. >> that was congressman steven fincher, republican from tennessee. and what he doesn't say there is even when he's not farming, the government is paying him lots of money to do it. that's helped earn him a place in our new special "all in" feature, "these are the people who are running our country." don't want to miss this one. stay with us. so style is my thing. and i'm not gonna let my period get in the way of what i want to wear! [ female announcer ] tampax radiant protects 30% better and comes with a resealable wrapper for discreet disposal. mix and match your protection with the whole radiant collection.
you know by now we love hearing from you on facebook and twitter. for tonight's question, i want to ask you to play armchair psychologist, which is always fun. what piece of advice would you give to house speaker john boehner? tweet your answers to allinwithchris or post on facebook at all in with chris. i'll share a couple after the show. stay tuned. tra mile. tra mile. to treat my low testosterone, i did my research. my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18
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speaker john boehner may feel like he's up against the wall every day, but he is at least getting a paycheck. there are nearly 500,000 people who are not. they are on day ten. and the latest republican offer seems to assume that those people will be furloughed for at least another six weeks. think about what would happen to your household if you went the next six weeks without a paycheck. that's not to mention the toll this shutdown continues to take on the thing we often refer to simply as the government. for instance, the nuclear regulatory commission has now temporarily closed, due to the government shutdown, 3,900 employees furloughed, on-site inspectors, and a small emergency response staff remain on duty. according to the nrc chairman, i guess that's reassuring. meanwhile, the furlough-challenged usda is investigating a california-based poultry producer, because in three of its four plants, there is evidence of salmonella. this after a recent salmonella
outbreak. hope the shutdown doesn't hamper that investigation. there are also private sector workers temporarily out of work, because their employers relay on government contracts, their numbers could easily reach the thousands and there is no guarantee that they will receive backpay. joining me now is la shantay austin, who works at the statue of liberty, larry eagle, with the union who represents workers at the statue of liberty. and ashanti, you're a furloughed worker, if i'm not mistaken. >> yes, i am. >> and what do you do? >> i work security. we screen all the visitors going into the statue of liberty. >> my understanding is you guys got whacked by sandy. there was a long period of time you were out of work because of the storm. >> yes, we were out of work for nine months. all of the equipment and everything got destroyed. >> so when you were out of work, were you getting a paycheck, were you on unemployment? >> i was on unemployment, but it, you know, it wasn't enough to pay all of the bills.
so we were behind back then and then here comes july, and we're out of work again. i mean, came back in july -- >> then you get a few months under your belt, getting your paycheck, doing your job, screening visitors, people are coming, and now this. >> now this, yes. >> what does this mean for your family? you're going to miss a paycheck, another one, three, four? >> i'm not going to be able to pay for bread, got to put food on the table. i can't tell the bill collectors, you know, sorry, the government is shutdown, i can't pay you, you know? they have a job to do, they've got to collect their money. and you know, it gets hard. >> so what are you going to do about the rent? >> at this point, i've applied for unemployment. i'm not sure if i'm going to get that money. so i really don't know. >> how long can you take this? >> i really don't know. it's -- it's hard. it gets stressful. you really don't know what's going to happen.
>> how do you feel about congress right now? >> i just wish they'd come to an agreement so that we can all move on and get pack to work. >> you represent a bunch of workers that are in lashante's situation. people have an image of government workers, that they're sort of, you know, they're somehow vultures on the taxpayer, that they're making lots of money, they're pulling down paychecks, they're pushing papers around. what do the workers you represent, what are the kinds of work they're doing and what are their economic conditions? >> our local represents largely janitors, office cleaners, food sfs workers, apartment house workers. we have nearly a thousand members who work cleaning or securing federal facilities, like the national archives, the department of labor, like lashante's site. these folks can make $14, $15 an hour, $19 an hour, or less. it depends on the location. folks working hard, doing the basic work that keeps the
offices and the government running. and people who cannot, like lashante said, get by without getting a paycheck. people are struggling to make it even at those wages, week to week, and we really need the republicans to wake up and do their job, like lashante has been doing her job, so people can get to work. >> republicans turn around and they say, look, we passed a bill to open up the national parks, head start, wic, whatever you want. we open up these small parts of government that are hurting people. we're not heartless. what do you say to that? >> i say we have a congress, we have a institutional system that functions. there was obligations incurred. they need to meet their obligations, they need to step up, they need to do their job, they need to stop walking on regular people who are suffering because they are playing games in washington for their own political, tactical reasons. this is america, we don't treat people that way. they need to step up and do the right thing. >> what are you telling your friends and family about this situation? how do you explain the fact that you are now not working?
>> you can't really explain it. you know, because we're regular people. you know, we live day to day, paycheck to paycheck. so it gets hard. you can't really explain that, you know, i can't do this, because i don't have money to go out or -- >> you're not the only one who can't explain this. basically no one can explain why the heck the government is shutdown right now. thank you both for your time. appreciate it. we'll be right back with click three.
coming up, as promised, tonight we'll present another chapter in our ongoing saga, "these are the people who are running the country," where we go in-depth on the members of congress who are holding the government hostage until they get their way about whatever it is they've decided they want today. but first, i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today. we begin with a food fight of fancy. we begin with comedian patten oswald, a click three favorite, often has fun at the expense of our collective appetites, notably in a bit about the black angus steakhouse, where he remembers a ridiculously over the top menu. >> at black angus, we'll start you off with our appetizer platter, featuring five jumbo deep-fried gulf shrimp, served on a disc of salted butter, with 15 of our potato bacon bombs and a red pork cracklings with our cheese and butter dipping sauce. >> every ingredient in oswald's bit brought to life by eric
bloomenstein who made every menu in oswald's routine, including the bacon and cheese soup with five heads of iceberg lettuce, in 18 pounds of ranch dressing as well as the bottomless trough of fried dough. but this was the master stroke. >> because then we'll bring out our 55-ounce he-man steak slab, served with a deep-fried pumpkin stuffed with buttered scallops and 53 of our potato bacon balls. >> and there was this one, labeled the gravy pipe. can go this was a bachelor pipe, we don't want to know what this was used for. and a change-up for face swaps. you know what face swaps are. two faces, each one get swaps, become a staple of the viral culture. so much so that anyone with basic photo shop skills can do a face shop. they'll bring us 40 face swaps that don't even make sense. and these are some truly bizarre mind-bending face swaps that
turn the genera in on itself, like this guy with his dog, normally, this photo shop did a full shirt swap as well. >> you're treated to a surreal world of things that don't belong in the place. sometimes random objects replacing people's smiles. so whoever the twin citiesed photoshoppers were, who made these face swaps, we're glad they've breathed new life into a time waster we've always loved. and the third awesomest thing on the internet today, there's nothing like the honesty of a toddler, i can tell you firsthand. a red-it user posted a youtube video of a parent making a covert training of potty training a 3-year-old. the result is internet gold.
>> you can stop the recording. there as the little tyke begins listing the itinerary of what he eat. we should all be glad that young people of the world will gain an understanding of their dietary limits. you can find all the links for tonight's click three on our website, all in with chris.com. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] no matter what city you're playing tomorrow. [ coughs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. vicks nyquil -- powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪
♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk. as we promised you we would every night of the shutdown, we are back with another installment of our new "all in" feature, where we take a closer look at the very small group of men and women in congress who have shut down the government. now, after last night's installment, i said this. tune in next time when we take a look at california congressman, doug la molfa, who received millions of dollars in farm subsidies while supporting billions of dollars in cuts to food stamp benefits. we started to take a look another another congressman who did the exact same thing, and is arguably even more hypocritical.
he improbably beat 22-year incumbent democratic tanner in 2010. tonight's installment of these are the people who are running the country, i bring you steven fincher, congressman from tennessee's eighth district. >> hi, oim congressman steven fincher from frog jump, tennessee. >> reporter: frog jump, tennessee, a tiny town about 75 miles north of memphis that nurtured the views of steve fincher, a man who spent his years before congress far away from politics. he was a farmer, he was part of a local gospel circuit, singing with the family foursome. ♪ and he was on the government dole. since 1995, fincher and his wife have received federal government payments of almost $3.5 million
for their farm, but taxpayer dollars flowing into the fincher household did not stop him from mounting a david and goliath battle against the scourge of big government. >> we are forgetting that the administration that we have in office now thinks that the federal government knows best and they're the answer. they're not the answer. >> reporter: and he made good on that promise by cutting $40 billion from the food stamp program. and to justify it, he cited scripture. >> i looked at second thessalonians 3:10, that even when we are with you, we gave you this rule, the one not willing to work shall not eat. >> reporter: this was once part of the same bill in which fincher voted for farm subsidies, that he benefited from as a sitting member of congress. last year alone, he pocketed more than $70,000 from farm subsidies, which is nearly double his state's median household income. in fact, his income last year was $174,000, and that's before the subsidies. in 2012, he won re-election with nearly 70% of the vote.
and the reason why the congressman justified his vote against food stamps -- >> we have to remember, there's not a big printing press in washington that just continually prints money over and over and over. >> reporter: there is, in fact, just that. located on "c" street and 14th street, a short walk from the capitol. unlike farm subsidies, congressman fincher presumably has no use for obama care subsidies, which is why it was subsidies, which is why it was no surprise that when the letter was circulated this summer, demanding that john boehner use the threat of a government shutdown to defund obama care, announcement of the plan allowed the president to sign legislation reopening the entire federal government with funding for all agencies. >> this plan illustrates what we have been saying all along.
announcement of the plan allowed the president to sign legislation reopening the entire federal government with funding for all agencies. >> this plan illustrates what we have been saying all along. that you can balance the budget in seven years, and protect medicare, medicaid, education, and the environment and provide tax relief to working families. >> that was bill clinton, officially announcing the federal government was headed
back to work, after a shutdown lasting a record-setting 21 days. that sad record is now in peril, as republicans seem to be pursuing a strategy of essentially indefinite shutdown. their latest plan would raise the debt ceiling for six weeks, while the country continues to suffer the mounting consequences of having a massive chunk of their government rendered inoperable. this is really quite something, from the party that cast itself as champion of american exceptionalism. the one whose 2012 presidential nominee wrote a book, arguing the case for american greatness. >> i believe in america. i believe in the freedom and opportunity, and the principles of our constitution, that have led us to become the greatest nation in the history of the earth. >> today's gop's motto is less we're number one, and more, embrace the suck. you can see the roots of this in the 2012 campaign, when mitt romney dismissed dangerous levels of income inequality in this country, by insisting, it's only fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms. it spread from d.c. to the
entire gop political culture, a country with more than 11 million people out of work and very little coming out of washington designed to get them back on the job. and you can see it growing throughout this year, when the gop successfully convincing americans to make peace with sequestration, a cut to government spending that was originally designed to be so painful to americans that neither party would ever accept it. now, on top of endemic inequality and austerity, the gop is pitching the country on the idea of getting accustomed to the federal government just being shut down indefinitely. instead of dealing with the most pressing problems this country faces, america's lawmakers are simply trying to figure out how to authorize funding for meat inspectors and cancer trials. this is the normalization of diminished expectations. and it is being led by the party that has long claimed ownership of the idea of american greatness. so how do they respond when challenged on their tactics? >> we're not french.
>> at least the french can keep the lights on. joining me now is ben domenech, lynn parramore, and msnbc contributor, james peterson. great to have you all here. we have to start with this polling, because i think it connects precisely to this kind of bizarre age of diminished expectations that we live in, and that i think the gop, from a strictly, like messaging standpoint, is doing a terrible job on. i mean, here's the american views of the parties if the new nbc poll. negative, 40% for the democrats, 39% are positive, essentially split. republican party right now is at 53% negative and 23% positive, that's 30 points underwater. ben, you've written a lot about kind of reforming the party. what -- i cannot tell. what is this party's message to the middle class right now in this moment? >> well, i don't think the party could answer that question for you themselves. you know, partially from the fact that they have essentially
accepted an approach that i tries to get into this normal washington game of trading austerity on one hand for benefits and changes to law on the other. they're not actually presenting a holistic sort of approach that would speak to the needs of the middle class and that would also speak to the sort of rising inequality that you're talking about. and frankly, in the context of the sequester and the other things that you mentioned, they look very much like a party that is seeking a point of leverage that doesn't exist, essentially. >> what do you mean by that? >> i think that essentially, you know, you had the leadership advancing the idea that they should fight on the debt ceiling. you had conservatives advancing the idea that they should fight on government shutdown. neither of these points are actually strong in terms of leveraging anything going forward, and i think that you compare it back to sort of the points where it was leveraged effectively under reagan and h.w. bush, and in both of those cases, there was a committed leadership that had a message going forward that they were strongly behind. they've been all over the place. >> and amazingly, the idea that we are in this horrible jobs crisis in the country continue to be, which if you were karl rove, if you were counseling the
republicans on what their best political tactic is, is that this recovery is not producing gains for ordinary working people, which it should, and we never talk about that. >> that's right. and i like to call this the new abnormal. because, really, what is normal about so many -- about talking about cutting government spending when we have so many unused resources in this country, when we have so many people out of work. what is normal about a fallen service member's family not being able to get death benefits, about the cdc not being able to respond to a salmonella outbreak. these things might be normal in guatemala, but not in the united states. >> we will get angry e-mails from guatemala, and will deserve it. i want to talk about how we rebel against the kind of normalization of this. because i do think it's kind of dangerous. we'll get to that right after this break. has a hi-density cor. and that means more fuel, more power,
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and one of the reasons for that, martha, i think, is that the shutdown has turned out to be much less about -- much less to do about -- than people thought. i mean, it's about, by one calculation, it's only about 17% closed. and so you see some conspicuous signs of it in national parks and so on, which you can tell the administration is trying as hard as it can, to make as difficult as possible, but it's just not that big a deal, as it turns out. >> nbc poll, have you or your family been affected by the shutdown? yes, have been affected, 31%. no, have not been affected, 68%. we're back. james, i think one of the things
that's fascinating about this poll is the amount of people that say they are being affected, was what happened in sequestration, when we kind of ran this experiment the first time, was there was a lot of coverage of the effects of it and we covered and it affected people, it affected researchers and it affected people in head start. it affected people. but it was sort of out of sight, out of mind. it did not move public opinion. that is not the case here. >> it's not. and i think what we have to kind of acknowledge here, and i believe that that our political spectrum has been moving steadily to the right. the kinds of things that as a public we're willing to tolerate now are really indicative of that. we talk about austerity, but i'm not sure some people understand what that mean. some of the sequestration cuts, over time, will take effect. as we move into next year. same thing with the shutdown. the longer we stay shut down, the more effect and more impact it will have. and at the end of the day, i don't know if there's any rhyme or reason on the other side, right? i think you're searching for like a rationale to it or some kind of like reasoning behind what they're doing. and the reason why there isn't
that is because it's a fragmented party. and the special interests are controlling certain parts of it. and they're, essentially, sort of entitled to the votes and to the policies of political -- >> what is the rhyme and reason -- >> i think the rhyme and reason is what you're seeing as a party that has lost the ability on the part of respected wise men, of elected officials and of traditional groups to sort of be a moderating force within the party, and to, at the same time, you've had the growth of institutions that can outweigh them, even surpass them -- >> you mean money? >> essentially, ted cruz doesn't care what people who are sort of outside of the -- who are in the typical sort of republican hierarchy think of him, because he has a massive following of people who will give him small dollar donations that will offset all of it. and one of the things that i think that speaks to, you talk about that becoming abnormal, i think this is going to become the new normal, because of the degree of distrust we see -- >> that, to me, is unfortunate. >> and this is the nasty part of this whole thing. is that i think at the end of the day, in the short-term, you can say the democratic party from a political perspective is
winning this battle. i think the polling shows us, the president is winning this battle. i think anytime, frankly, you have a guy who gets elected by a few hundred thousand voters, john boehner, and a guy who got 55 million people to vote for him, the guy who got 55 million people to vote for him is going to win. >> at least in the polls. at least in the polls. >> yeah. >> barack obama is a better politician and a more appealing person than -- >> there's also a century of politics that has taught the american people that when government shuts down, republicans hate government and liberals love government. you end up in the situation where the natural blame is always going to go towards the party that hates government, being ant -- >> and let me say this. that's why it was such a preposterous farce for them to try to pull a 180 and start funding these mini crs, we want to fund head start and fund -- you have not accrued the capital to be able to pull that -- oh, of course, the tea party caucus loves wic. come on! >> this is also people disconnecting from politics in certain ways.
how can you not be cynical when a few days ago, people were saying, you can't default on the debt, you can't, no way, it's not possible. now we're in this chicken race with the president to try to figure out how we can resolve the problem. >> and the bottom line is really the economy. people are figuring out this is not good for the economy. although i said to myself this afternoon, some of these tea partyers don't even understand how the female reproductive system works, so asking them to understand the global economy is too much. but it is the economy. you don't pull back on government investment at a time when the economy's very weak. >> you talked about the new normal, don't you think there's an acceptance on the american people's part of this bad economy, that they're coming around to the idea that there's nothing better out there. >> let me just hang a lantern on that. that is a profound point and it plays in all sorts of bizarre ways. it always struck me in the 2012 election that mitt romney was doing best when he was critiquing the nature of the obama recovery. even if you don't think barack obama is actually responsible for it, his best message was always, there's a lot of people out of work, a lot of people long-term unemployed, wages aren't rising, but he could
never convincingly make that case or stick with it. >> at the same time, chris, we haven't been able to make the case that this government has been shedding jobs for the first time since we've had a recovery and a recession. >> 600,000 down, by the way. >> the new normal is americans are disconnected from the political system because the congress is not representative of americans. >> let's be frank here. in the 2010 elections, a lot of people were frustrated the recovery hasn't come to their neighborhood yet and they thought, what has government really done for me, and the democrats do hold some responsibility for that. we're reaping the awards -- >> i believe that the democrats were more representative of the coalition that re-elected president obama, which is more progressive on almost every issue in the democratic party, yes, you would have better levels of engagement in terms of politics. >> i feel like democrats are offering a solution that says, look, we don't necessarily know how to make this recovery better, so we'll try to make your life suck less. but republicans are saying, this recovery sucks, but we don't actually have a policy -- >> republicans know how to make it better, there's just too much obstruction and disconnection between the american people. >> but at the heart of this is,
let's lower taxes for rich people. >> that's part of what's going to be the fight that's getting set up. but here's what was perverse today. you had the polling, 75% saying wrong track, which chuck todd pointed out really astutely. he said, that's the highest number we've seen since lehman. and what we're seeing is a political great recession. >> they were the most unpopular congress in 2011, and the most unpopular congress in 2012, and they're the most unpopular congress today. you can only go from 14 to 12 to 10 in terms of approval. >> they're unrepresented -- >> but at the same time, here's what's really perverse. the fight switched from the debt ceiling to the cr today, because the financial leap called john boehner and said, do not do this, and here, take a look at the stock market rally. you have this huge rally -- >> just on the hope. >> on the hope that it would happen. here's what happened. lashante came into our studio and know one is delivering her
from this. what ended up happening was, when push came to shove, wall street got john boehner to go up there and be like, i'm not going to do this. >> that's the problem. >> the medical device tax. >> yes! you had a great tweet on this. you said, we need a more populist party that's in touch with the needs of the middle class. okay, here's chained cpi is and the medical device tax. that's like everything. and that's why, to get to the final point we're making now, in the long-term, whatever short-term gains there are for the democrats the here tonight, in the long-term, what this does is it erodes people's sense of any kind of representative institution. >> which is the strategy, right? it's a strategy of attrition. >> cynicism and disgust. >> that way it's easier -- >> and ultimately it's going to play of a vindication of model partisan approaches to policy. that's the only point you see significant policy. >> ben donovich, thank you very much. that is "all in" for this evening.